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Coded Arms - PSP - Preview


Posted by: jkdmedia

Never mind the fact that we’ve yet to see a portable first-person shooter game worthy of the genre itself . . . and yes, while Doom and Duke Nukem on the Game Boy were pretty darn good, it’s nothing truly spectacular.  Konami hopes to change that with Coded Arms, the PSP’s first first-person shooter.

Luckily I’ve got a chance to really sit down and get my hands on the training level that introduces the gameplay mechanics as well as the weaponry.  Sporting a healthy thirty weapons (including pistols, shotguns and a rocket launcher) you assume the role of a computer hacker who enters a virtual combat simulator world overtaken by a number of nasty bad guys and monsters.  This Matrix-like story places you in an environment where you have to fight for your survival. 

The first thing you’ll long for is a second analog stick.  The game uses the portable’s only analog stick and utilizes the buttons to look up, down, right and left and this makes things just a tad uncomfortable but at least the weapon selecting, reload and zoom can be easily accessed on the D-pad.  The side buttons are to fire and jump. 

The enemies I went up against in the training level were armed soldiers that didn’t hesitate to fire back--although every soldier I faced didn’t bother to duck for cover either.  There is also the usual genre elements such as canisters that go BOOM when you shoot them. 

What the game does manage to do quite impressively is bring us the eye candy.  Coded Arms looks really good and makes good use of the PSP graphics capabilities and you’ll notice it right away when you blow things up.  The fireballs look great, alright and so does the gunfire.  The environments, though, from the level I played and the ones I seen look a bit on the bland side.

A feature to really look forward to is the wireless multiplayer deathmatch.  Supporting up to four players, the multiplayer action is sure to keep gamers busy long after they’ve completed the single player game. 

Coded Arms is shaping up to be an enjoyable first-shooter experience for the PSP and while it still has a few things to sort out (the AI and bland environments being a prime example) this is a shooter PSP owners will be sure to look forward to in the not-so distant future.

E3 2005


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